Latest News - Levy Edition

August 5, 2021

Riverdale Parents, Students, and Community Members:

I want to provide everyone an update from events that have transpired this past week in regards to our Emergency Levy.
 
Let’s start from the beginning. After much discussion, careful consideration, and planning with our treasurer and members of the Board, I made the recommendation to the Board of Education to place an Emergency Levy for $930,000 on the ballot in November. The final vote to approve the resolution was to occur on Monday, August 2, 2021. 

On the morning of August 2nd Mrs. Hiller, school  treasurer/CFO, gave me a report of our income tax receipts for the 2nd quarter (April - June). These receipts were posted at the end of July. The average amount we typically receive each quarter is approximately $350,000. This report did not have $350,000 posted, it had $1.8 million posted. Yes, you read that correctly. As you might imagine, we were in disbelief. This prompted a call to the Department of Taxation who told us the amount is an anomaly, but correct. We should expect typical ($350,000 per quarter) income tax receipts moving forward.

This left us in a conundrum. It is the day of the levy resolution vote to ask voters to approve a $930,000 levy and we just received $1.4 million over projections in income tax receipts. Even though there are some unknowns regarding this windfall, ultimately we were not comfortable asking the community for the Emergency Levy. The Levy resolution was removed from the agenda.

What we know is that in a $12.5 million dollar budget it is difficult to forecast budgets when the income tax fluctuates 70% from year to year (or 350% in one quarter). We are going to continue to monitor the quarterly income tax receipts and all other revenue. 

Additionally, we are being conscientious and intentional with our expenses. 
Here just some of the ways we have done that:

2021-22: $545,500 savings
Reduction In Force (RIF) classified staff and administrative staff.
Attrition: Three teachers who retired or resigned were not replaced.
We will limit professional development, cut field trips, put off buying much needed textbooks, supplies, buses, and technology. All technology or busses will be purchased with grant money if available.
Shared Treasurer Agreement with a neighboring school district.
K-12 LED lighting.
VOIP Phones.

2020-21: $252,500 savings
Eliminated two full-time substitute teacher positions.
Attrition: One teaching position was not replaced. 
Shared Treasurer Agreement with a neighboring school district.
District Office LED lighting.
We will limit professional development, cut field trips, put off buying much needed textbooks, supplies, buses, and technology. All technology and portion of a bus purchased with grant money.

2019-20: $40,000 savings
Payroll went direct deposit.
Attrition: Admin position was absorbed.
Restructured Buildings and Grounds personnel.

2018-19: $26,500 savings
Restructure administrative compensation.

2017-18: $50,000 savings
Restructured library.

As you can see, over the past several years, we have reduced costs where we can. 

Thank you for your continued support. Should you have any questions please give me a call. 

Yours in education, 

Jeff Young, Superintendent